Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Buffoonery, Blago's and Boehner's

On subjects both sublime and ridiculous--the nation's economy to catching a small-time crook in high office--the media are once again showing helplessness in the face of idiocy spouted by people in official positions.

For an hour with Larry King after a blitz of other TV outlets, Rod Blagojevich keeps repeating his mantra of Fitzgerald's tapes as "out of context" and his "innocent until proved guilty" grievances against the Illinois legislature, where the only vote not to impeach him was cast by his sister-in-law.

Much more serious is the constant tanned presence of John Boehner (does the man sleep under a sun lamp?), telling us that the answer to a deepening depression is tax cuts and more tax cuts.

There are many ways to dispose of such nonsense, but Paul Krugman's will suffice:

"Here’s how to think about this argument: it implies that we should shut down the air traffic control system. After all, that system is paid for with fees on air tickets--and surely it would be better to let the flying public keep its money rather than hand it over to government bureaucrats. If that would mean lots of midair collisions, hey, stuff happens."

Yet Boehner's brainlessness keeps being used by the media as "balance" to the Obama Administration's efforts to get a stimulus bill through Congress. There are serious objections that can be made to portions of the bill that can't be reduced to sound bites, but we don't hear them.

It all recalls the time when a US Senator kept waving pieces of blank paper as lists of Communists in the State Department and the media felt helpless not to report Joe McCarthy's lies with a straight face.

We haven't progressed much in half a century.

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